Even though they had moderate success in the late 1950s, a singing group known as The Innocents didn’t really strike gold until 1960, when they teamed up with singer Kathy Young for “A Thousand Stars.” But there’s a lot more to the story. For one thing, Kathy Young was – er – young, only 15 at the time, and for another, she had just met the threesome.
The Innocents consisted of three Southern California guys who’d originally met while members of a local car club. James West, Al Candelaria, and Darron Stankey had already made several records by the time they ran into Kathy while doing a local TV dance show. (The program’s host – Wink Martindale – would soon make his own hit record, but that’s another story.)
Kathy Young was there with her mother, and a record producer connected her (Kathy, not her mom) with the trio for a recording session. “A Thousand Stars” had been a minor hit a few years earlier for the Revileers, an R&B doo-wop group from New York, but the new version proved to be a bigger hit. It became one of 1960’s best-selling records.
Both Kathy and the group would sometimes work separately after that, but they did make a number of records together and managed to crack the charts with a couple, including “Happy Birthday Blues” and “Magic Is The Night.” In subsequent years everybody went their separate way and found varying degrees of professional or personal success, but in the last couple of decades have occasionally reunited for oldies shows. (Like the video below.)